Huge boost for homeless

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A HARROGATE homeless charity has received a grant of more than £200,000 designed to ensure that nobody is forced to sleep on the streets for more than one night.

The Harrogate Homeless Project has been awarded £242,655 to adopt No Second Night Out – an initiative that aims to ensure anyone who ends up on the streets is helped quickly.

Welcoming the grant, Liz Hancock, project manager at the homeless project, said: “We are delighted to receive a grant from the Homelessness Transition Fund.

“This funding means that we will be able to work towards the aim that no one should be forced to spend a second night out.

“As a prosperous town, Harrogate is rarely seen as a place where street homelessness exists – the reality is that we have a relatively significant homelessness problem and this funding will enable us to develop our service specifically to address the issue of rough sleeping.

“Harrogate recorded one of the highest rough sleeper counts in Yorkshire last year, and whilst we believe we have helped to reduce the figure at this year’s count, there is still a problem.”

The charity is running a cold weather provision on behalf of Harrogate Council for the second year, but said it needs a “locally-focused initiative to seek long-term solutions to the district’s homelessness”.

The grant is part of an £8m pot being awarded by the Homelessness Transition Fund to 41 projects.

The £20m independent fund was set up to help support the Government’s rough sleeping strategy. Administered by Homeless Link, it received 190 applications from charities wanting to protect homelessness services.

Housing minister Grant Shapps said: “When economic times are tough, protecting the most vulnerable in society becomes even more important.

“That’s why we have dedicated £8m to extend No Second Night Out outside the capital and make sure that anyone who finds themselves on the streets quickly gets the help they need.

“I’m delighted that vulnerable people in Harrogate have £242,000 of extra help to make sure they will never need to spend more than one night sleeping rough.”